Checking your car’s engine oil is a basic part of good car maintenance. Your car’s engine oil level is critical to the longevity and performance of the engine. Just as stopping for gas and checking the air pressure of your car’s tires are routine and necessary steps of car ownership, regularly checking your engine oil should be part of your normal routine.
Park car on a flat, level surface to obtain the most accurate engine oil reading.
Turn the engine off, and let car sit for a few minutes. This enables the oil to drain from the engine back down into the oil pan, or oil sump, the location where the oil dipstick is inserted to obtain the oil level reading.
Open the hood. Locate your engine oil dipstick, which is normally located on the side of the engine block, and pull it completely out.
Use a cloth or paper towel to completely wipe the oil dipstick clean. Reinsert dipstick into engine completely.
Pull the dipstick out once more and hold the bottom tip of the dipstick (the end that inserts into the engine) and check the reading (the oil line on the dipstick marks the engine oil level). Most dipsticks have lines etched into their sides marking the “add” level or the “full” level. Many dipsticks have a “add 1 quart” line as well.